As I sit here writing this post for Cheesy Poblano Polenta Bake, we have just finished a dinner hosting my mom, dad and brother and his family – well most of his family. I am watching the end of the 1st week of the NCAA Basketball tournament. There is no better sporting competition than March Madness. The reason I mention having my family over for dinner is that I served a baked polenta for an appetizer. Polenta is so versatile, easy to make and comes together so quickly.
To make this cheesy poblano polenta bake you need an extra day of planning and preparation to put it together. The flavors are assembled one day and put in the fridge to set. The corn grits are made by adding water to the grits. It is that easy. Once they come together, and remember to stir frequently, you can add whatever you like. In addition to two types of cheese, I added roasted poblanos and some jalapenos to kick it up a bit. I think a lot of people think all peppers are hot. This is definitely not the case. The poblano is a very smoky pepper. I really like smoke and love to accent my recipes with smokey flavors – but you knew that. The poblano is roasted and the skin is peeled. Then, it is diced up and stirred into the polenta. The jalapeno is chopped up raw and put directly in the cheesy polenta.
So what exactly is polenta. I am not sure so I looked it up and here is what the Kitchn says. Polenta and cornmeal are really the same thing. Cornmeal is created by grinding corn kernels. Polenta actually refers to the Italian dish from Northern Italy. So when you see polenta in the grocery store, it simply means the grind is suitable for making polenta.
The cast of characters.
The roasted poblanos.
Putting together the polenta by adding the cheese, then the poblanos and finished with the jalapenos.
The polenta put into the baking dish to set overnight.
Browning the polenta bake the next day.
The Cheesy Poblano Polenta Bake.
Cheesy Poblano Polenta Bake
Prep Time 10 hours
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 11 hours
Begin by drizzling the poblanos with the oil. Put in an oven at 400 degrees and roast for 40 – 45 minutes. Place in a paper bag or covered bowl and let sit for 15 minutes. Peel exterior of poblanos and dice. Set aside.
Pour the water and polenta into a pot and cook on medium heat. Stir frequently and cook for 30 minutes. Add in the cheese and cook until the melt. Next, add in the poblanos and jalapenos. Mix well.
Pour the polenta into a baking dish. Put in the fridge and let set overnight. Remove from fridge and cut into squares. Heat a cast iron skillet and brown the polenta on each side. Next, place on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes at 325 degrees.
Serve and enjoy!